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February 07, 2007


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Samuel Myler

It seems like there is a profound symbiotic relationship here whether or not they choose to admit it or not. Neither side has much to gain from regulating their respective realm. If Apple sells more iPods when the music is cheaper, or more music is sold when more iPods are in the hands of consumers, you would think they could come to some agreement that would establish an equilibrium when it comes to profits.

Obviously, right now, Apple is benefitting more from the chaos in the music industry regarding copyright protections. But, we need to consider (Apple needs to also) the fact that without this music the iPod would be a useless piece of plastic (even though it is a particularly aesthetically pleasing piece of plastic).

I'll allude to an analogy to help illustrate my point. The Oxpecker is a bird that eats the ticks and parasites off of the Rhino, while at the same time feeding off of the wounds of the Rhino if there are any. It is a classical mutualistic symbiotic relationship.

For Jobs to come in and wag a finger at the music industry is like the Oxpecker scolding the Rhinoceros for not bleeding MORE when the Rhinoceros is wounded. The Oxpecker might get fat off of the blood at first, but in the long run, the Oxpecker is going to be without a host if the Rhino continues to bleed. If the music industry continues to bleed, this may be to the detriment of both parties.

Therefore, why not cut the music industry in on some of the profits from the iPods? It seems like right now, we are trying to put a bandage over the rhinoceros wound (DRM) and the Oxpecker is trying to peel it off (Jobs complaining about the DRM). How about the Oxpecker gets off his ass and gets the Rhino something to eat ($) since the Rhino is over here dying and the Oxpecker is fat and healthy at his expense. It might be to the benefit of both parties.

While I am not yet even a law student, I can't comment to what is exactly "legal" and what is not. I will say that it doesn't seem "fair" for Apple to act this way.

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